Intro: The lucky people who reside in the Heights enjoy lives of ignorant bliss, while the unworthy struggle to live in the Depths. Yet the Height’s laws are unyielding. Especially so when it comes to marriage. If given the choice, Cyrus Tistella would never marry…but marriage soon becomes the least of her concerns when her parents are murdered and she is found guilty of the crime. Thrown into the Depths, Cryus vows to clear her name and expose her parents’ killer. If she can survive long enough to do so.
“This title features mature content that may not be suitable for all audiences, including fictional depictions of intense graphic violence, non-consensual sexual violence, and various forms of abuse.”
These warnings, as listed on Steam’s page, will be discussed in my final thoughts.
Final Thoughts Below:
Eltcreepo Valentine: is a thirsty bank owner who rules one of the territories in the Depths called Liberalitas. He witnesses Cyrus’ ‘Knightly’ duel against Sachsen and offers her a job as his bodyguard. He says she’s free to love whomever she wants to and he hopes she will fall for him ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°) This confuses her, as she’s been taught to view love as something shared only between married couples. The first time Elt kisses her, the power of Christ compels her to flee to the safety of her room. When a man attempts to assassinate him, Elt kills him effortlessly. Cyrus wonders if he even needs a guard; Ulrik says she’s like an accessory to him. OOF. Elt is called to meet with another territory leader named Neue who wears a dumb eye patch. He makes Elt pay for the death of his employee – who’d tried to kill Elt. You can’t fool anyone, Neue! After dancing the night away at a ball, Elt realizes he’s in love with Cyrus because he doesn’t want to immediately bang her the moment they get home. Instead, he helps her into bed and checks her ankle, which she’d sprained, and Cyrus kisses him on the cheek. He’s so happy he shrieks about it downstairs with Ulrik like a schoolgirl. The next day, someone from the HOUNDS demands medical treatment for his injured comrade outside the Valentine mansion. Cyrus’ first thoughts aren’t “Oh shit, Sachsen could be out there,” but rather how she could help them. I guess it fits her character but you’d think she’d have some kind of reaction. She lets them in and discovers that Fin is now a part of the HOUNDS.
The Heights Temple partners up Police Officers together so that in case one of them is discharged and sent to the Depths, their partner is also slung down there – except this time they become a HOUNDS officer. Talk about a bad day. Fin takes his injured comrade back to his base and learns that Sachsen is looking for Cyrus because he wants to torture her to death for making him look bad during the duel they had like SIR THAT WAS A LONG TIME AGO CALM DOWN. Unfortunately, our boi Fin has lost his marbles because Sachsen and the creepy doctor both tortured him. Now that Fin knows Cyrus is alive he doesn’t care about anything else – so he murders his comrade “on accident.” As one does. Fin sneaks out to visit Cyrus and sees her kissing Elt. So Fin cuts open Elt’s back with a poisoned sword. He tells Cyrus he’s the only one with the antidote. Bad End: If she goes to get the antidote, Fin takes her to “his place,” which is the home she shared briefly with Marlot and Rhietel, but apparently they “went to a better place.” ( -__- ) Fin puts a sleeping drug in Cyrus’ cup. She wakes up to him chaining her up and saying she must keep her promise to stay with him because she’s the reason he’s in the HOUNDS to begin with. He feeds the antidote to her via mouth-to-mouth and it’s implied that he forced himself on her…┗─y(ｷ´゜皿`) Queen End: If she doesn’t look for the antidote, Sachsen arrives at their front door. The people of Liberalitas are pissed that someone from the HOUNDS hurt Elt so they started a riot. Now the Heights are demanding an envoy be sent to negotiate with them. Cyrus challenges Saschen to a duel and whoops his ass. Rather than suffer defeat, he tries to nice-boat himself but Elt stops him. Before Elt was ruler, the area was called Verrater. Its ruler tricked the HOUNDS and cost their commander their life, which resulted in a huge uproar. Elt had to stop Sachsen from taking his own life to prevent another similar incident.
Ulrik returns that night with a doctor named Adage. He works to sedate the poison, but Elt has another plan: the territory leaders asked him to go to the Heights and BLOW HIMSELF UP to ensure that Liberalitas waged war on the Heights ( ಠ_ಠ ) Cyrus convinces him not to. The other territories cut ties with Elt because he didn’t martyr himself for their own ends, so he asks the Administrators of his district for help. He suggests working with the HOUNDS and they accuse him of idolizing the Heights. They also make him step down from his position as ruler of Liberalitas. But Cyrus gets him back on his feet to do something after the other territories begin to suck Liberalitas dry with taxes. Elt takes them to see his prisoner of war, Sachsen. He asks Sacshen to lend him the HOUNDS’ forces to quell the uprising. Sachsen agrees on the condition that Elt stays home (he’s too important to lose) and that Cyrus accompanies him. As they start to take out the protesters, Fin buys Cyrus enough time to get away from a group of men and he dies. Cyrus kills the men and tries to drag Fin’s body somewhere safe. MY BOI DIDN’T DESERVE DIS. Back at Elt’s home, Neue fails at being a villain and is captured as another of Elt’s POW. Neue wanted to quell the uprising and rule Liberalitas, but people who wear dumb eye patches can’t carry out master plans. Elt gets his position back and tricks Cyrus into saying she loves him pfft and now it’s time to bang. She insists it’s a sin and so he settles for just making out, hinting that they may just end up doing it anyway since it’ll put her in the mood. BRUH rofl. Sweet Recompense End: Cyrus and Elt go out for a stroll and Fin shows up again looking like a Tweeker ready to cut someone. Cyrus lets him live and tells him to find a different future. She and Elt go up to the Heights to speak to someone about helping the people of the Depths. Of course everyone there wants to kill them, so Elt tells Cyrus his plan is to BAKUHATSU and take as many people as he can with him. But then! Saint Yune stops their execution and agrees to aid the Depths, insisting that they not be harmed on their way back home. Elt and Cyrus drop by to see Rhietel and Marlot when Fin comes out of nowhere and back stabs Elt to death. He then rapes Cyrus and keeps her forever…what the fuck. Flying in the Far Sky End: in the Heights, Cyrus and Elt blow themselves up in the church. Lasting Future End: they return to the Depths and St. Yune comes over to raid their candy and to keep his promise. Meanwhile, Elt and Cyrus continue their “lessons.”
♡( ´ ▽ ` ).｡ｏ♡ Ulrik Ferrie: is our token tsundere who is Elt’s intelligence agent. Whereas Elt’s route felt like, “My dad is dating a girl my age LET ME OUT!”, Ulrik’s is more innocent. When Elt tells Cyrus that she can fall in love in the Depths, she asks Ulrik what ‘love’ is and if he’s experienced it. He lies and says of course he has. The next day, Elt tells Ulrik to give Cyrus a tour of Liberalitas. Ulrik’s guidance amounts to absolute silence or annoyed quips about the city. But when it comes to food the boy can’t resist. Less cute however, is how he shows Cyrus the slums where she witnesses a man get curb-stomped simply because he’s from the Heights. Both he and Elt say that it’s just the Circle of Life: the less fortunate do so to reclaim some semblance of control when they have nothing at all. It rattles her so much that even Ulrik realizes how messed up it is. He passes by the dead man at night and finds a woman grieving over him. A group of men tried to attack her and this guy saved her even though he was from the Heights. Ulrik gives her some money and tells her to leave so no one else tries to attack her. Cryus asks to learns how to shoot because she can’t do anything against a bullet. So Daddy Elt is like, fear not adventurer! It turns out Ulrik is a talented gunslinger. Sadly, she sucks at shooting. She tells Ulrik she’s decided to trust him, which astounds him. When he was a shota, he lived on the streets. His mom told him never to trust anyone. The Ferries were founders who invented guns and who helped many people during the Great Flood, but everything they did was instead credited to the Valentine family. After his mom died, Ulrik discovered his dad hadn’t gone to buy milk and never come home – he’d been in the slums the whole time! He tried to start a new life with his dad but he sold his son to get out of debt. Fast forward to when Ulrik was ordered by the Verrater leader to sneak into the Valentine mansion: Elt knew who Ulrik was and he offered him a job as his spy. He agreed and Elt obliterated the Verraters. As Cyrus and Ulrik start to head home, the obvious villain shows up.
Vice wants to destroy the Heights. He says they should kidnap Cyrus and torture her for information. Ulrik doesn’t think the Rafale gang is smart enough to do so, but to his horror, they succeed and dump her into the Poison Jar, a pit for corpses. It’s impossible to escape from but Ulrik comes to her rescue. She catches Ulrik talking to Vice and realizes that he’s the one who attacked her. Ulrik admits he knew; he begs her not to tell Elt because he’d wipe out the Rafale gang and he’s doing this for Elt’s sake. Ulrik takes her home and peaces out but Elt knows she’s hiding something. She lies and says she was having dinner with Ulrik. The next morning, Daddy Elt grills them about their dinner date and Ulrik says they were badmouthing him the whole time lol. Elt asks him if he knows about any gangs. Apparently, more and more people from the Heights are being murdered. Ulrik tells Cyrus to be careful because a lot of people would miss her. Elt is in a meeting when Ulrik shows up to thank her for covering for him. Elt arrives shortly after and tells Ulrik to take Cyrus out. He panics because he’s never been on a date before. Cyrus is like don’t ask me 😂 so he takes her to his personal library. He has tons of books from centuries past written in a language she can hardly understand. Ulrik hands her a romance novel and a hand-written cipher and she calls it cute. He freaks out and tells her to call him cool instead and she’s like bruh I meant your handwriting. Later, Ulrik asks if she wants to go out for dinner. During their meal, he asks her if romance novels are any fun. She says she’s really enjoying it but she doesn’t know why all of the characters are having these FEELS. Afterwards, Ulrik drops her off at Elt’s place. He gives her the book and says to return it one day. He also asks her to drop honorifics with him (I’ll go more in-depth in my final thoughts). When she goes inside, Elt is waiting to hear all about their date and she’s so startled she drops the book. He’s like my son never lends anyone his books ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°) Elt suggests she use it as an example for what love is to contrast with her opinion on Ulrik. My dude ain’t even trying to hide it lol.
Cyrus buys Ulrik a gift and runs into Vice and his gang. He demands that Ulrik break into Elt’s mansion to steal a key or he’ll kill Cyrus. Words Unspoken End: Cyrus begs him not to steal from Elt and asks him to kill her. He tries to poison her but can’t do it and Vice sees what’s going on. He grabs the syringe from Ulrik and stabs Cyrus with it. As she dies, she tells him she bought him a gift and tries to tell him about the book but she dies and he regrets having met her, hinting that he’d fallen in love with her 😦 Ferrie End: Ulrik reveals that the Ferrie were promised a place in the Heights after the Great Flood, but they were betrayed. The Valentine family lives to serve the Ferries, which is why Elt took Ulrik in. A Ferrie named Arcenclimb built a mechanism which shakes the Heights so violently it will end up crumbling into the Depths. The idea was that if anyone in the Heights tried to take over the intelligentsia, they could prevent it. Elt of course realizes why Ulrik is trying to steal from him and is like do you want the gold key or the silver one? LOL. Ulrik goes back to save Cyrus but Elt and his crew swoop in to stop the gang. Vice hightails it to the demolition mechanism – which is in Ulrik’s personal library. On the way, Ulrik tells her he was told to hate the Heights for abandoning his ancestors but he wants to fall in love with her so he won’t care about her birthplace anymore. Inside the library, they confront Vice. Cyrus takes a bullet for Ulrik, who stabs Vice in the back. The archive starts to flood with water and Ulrik realizes they’re trapped inside. Cyrus dies from blood loss and he holds her while he waits for death. My Own Story End: Elt shoots Vice to death. He explains how Arcenclimb had actually chosen to remain in the Depths but he knew the people’s hate for those who went up to the Heights might consume them so he crafted two keys – one to topple the Heights and one to stop the mechanism. He entrusted both to the Valentines. They stop the earthquakes and prevent a total disaster. Three days later, Cyrus wakes up to find Ulrik peeling an apple and muttering about how if she dies he can’t tell her anything. She’s like well I’m alive son and he loses his shit. He walks her down to the garden where he says he thinks he can love her. She’s like you think you can or you do – which is it? Ulrik decides to kiss her instead of answer her lol and she’s all my dude that’s not supposed to happen until the end of the book omg I love her sass. The Final Page End: If Cyrus tattles on Ulrik, he helps the Rafale gang use the mechanism to bring down the Heights. Cyrus is killed by Vice and then Ulrik traps him inside the archive where they both die.
Prisoner: if Cyrus turns down Ulrik’s offer from Eltcreed to work for him, she remains in the sanctuary district struggling to eke out an existence. Thankfully, two people hold a path of salvation for her.
Levi Adage: is living Marie Kondo’s book to the fullest. Unfortunately, his little quirks are all that sustains him because I felt zero chemistry between the two. Thankfully his route answers some pivotal questions. Cyrus collapses in the streets and is approached by a man claiming to be a doctor. Cyrus is wary about him injecting her with unknown fluids so he administers the needle to himself first…and then does the same to her afterwards. Like yeah, limited supplies and all but isn’t that the first thing you learn about medical hygiene – don’t go sticking used needles into people?! Cyrus later comes across Ines while combing the streets for employment. He asks her if she really is Cyrus Tistella because surely a noblewoman like herself wouldn’t kill her own parents? She says she has no idea who set her up and tries to ask him why he was thrown into the pits, too. He refuses to answer her. Before she leaves, Ines warns her to stay out of trouble. Cyrus almost manages to follow his advice, but having lived to protect others, she can’t sit idly by as the HOUNDS abuse an old man. She offers him her own food and is promptly arrested. Sachsen comes in and strangles her because he’s a swell dude. Ines arrives to release her all （；´_ゝ`）フーンgoddammit lady I just got through telling you not to get involved! He takes her to see the creepy Dr. Glissade and she notices a familiar uniform in the room. He explains how the HOUNDS were all once police officers whose partners were dishonorably discharged and thrown into the Depths. Cyrus refuses to believe Fin is working with the HOUNDS and forgets about the poor dude.
She discovers a man looting Rhietel and Merlot’s corpses. Adage is there too and he says they were dying when he found them. Cyrus lets the looter go and yells at Adage for not helping them. He tells her he won’t waste his supplies on someone he knows he can’t save. Adage tries to assuage his guilt by offering her a job as his assistant. Problem is, he has no idea what he wants her to do because he loves cleaning as much as Marie Kondo. He admits to himself that he saved her because when he found Rhietel and Merlot, he had enough supplies to save one of them but he couldn’t make up his mind in time and so they both died. Yikes! He feels guilty so he figured he may as well keep Cyrus alive. Adage’s cooking sucks but he’s not letting her waste any ingredients to learn how to cook. She tries to at least wash the dishes but he’s like WOMAN LEMME CLEAN I LIVE FOR IT. Because it wouldn’t make sense for him to have all this money, we find out he’s been going to the Depths for work. He takes her with him to pick up supplies. On the way home, someone tries to rob them. Good Night, Assistant End: Cyrus covers Adage and the robber shoots and kills her. If you didn’t get this bad end, Eltcreed appears out of the mist like John Wick and shoots him in both shoulders. When they get home, Ines arrives with a dying HOUNDS soldier. Sadly, the man passes away no matter how hard Adage tries to save him. The next day, he takes her into town with him for supplies and introduces her as his wife because it’s easier to explain. He says she needs to play along if they’re to work together. She asks him what married people do and he’s like lady…but because he grew up in the Heights too he understands the strict regulations. But the dude found a loophole and got his hands on Harlequin novels So now when she goes shopping the women ask her how good he is in bed and she’s like, “I’m better.” I am deceased! The next day, Dr. Glissade stops by to deliver medicine to Cyrus and to collect a blood sample from her. Adage explains that the pills are antidotes for the poison in the food the Sanctuary feeds them. He asks her to fetch an order for him and on the way back she hears screams. Some HOUNDS officers are beating up a little boy because he tried to steal from them. Cyrus gets involved and Fin intervenes. She tells him where she’s living so he can visit her later. As soon as she leaves he murders the HOUNDS men.
Cyrus brings the boy to be seen by Adage. After the kid leaves, he takes a look at her. Out of literally nowhere, she starts feeling butterflies and thinks she’s sick. So he kisses her to help her understand she’s seeing him as a man. BRUH. Of course Fin’s yandere ass is watching this go down through their window. The next day at the Sanctuary, Glissade is like please don’t become an anti-vaxer and take your pills! and Adage is like (∿°○°)∿ because he believes Glissade is his dad. Glissade invites Cyrus to dinner and she goes out to buy him a gift. On the way home she sees Fin chopping people up and is like NOPE and books it home. Adage comes with her to the dinner date and sits there in the background all notice me daddy. Cyrus convinces him to talk to the doctor but Glissade is like you’re not my son you’re RECESSIVE. Adage eventually kicks Cyrus out because he thinks he’s unwanted by everyone and so Cyrus lets Glissade take her to his office that night because she’s not staying outside to get attacked thank you very much. He serves her tea and then shit gets real: Because Glissade failed to save people as a doctor, the Heights put him in the abortion disposal center where he decided to instead create life from the pieces. This is why we can’t have nice things! He was successful in making a girl named
Cardia Priscilla, but her immune system couldn’t cope with the environment so he shipped himself to the Depths to find body parts for her. He tries to victim blame Cyrus for killing her parents because the first day she’d visited the Depths, she’d fought Saschen and had to have her wounds treated. She’d told Glissade she couldn’t accept many transfusions or she’d die. It turns out she has “golden blood”, meaning she carries no antigens and can therefore safely donate blood to anyone. So this psycho asked the Heights to kick her into the Depths and is like my bad, I didn’t think they’d kill your parents but I’m blameless!! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Fin shows up with Adage in tow and Glissade is like I got everything I need BAM BAM and shoots Fin dead. Recessive End: Glissade wants Adage’s eyes but he refuses; Glissade shoots him and straps him to the table. He says the only woman he loved was named Priscilla Garland but the Heights forced them to marry different people. Glissade wanted to abort Adage but the Height wanted him to be born. He rips Adage’s eyes out while he’s alive.
If that horrifying end doesn’t come to be, Adage convinces him not to kill Cyrus right away because her blood won’t be useful so they lock her up. She tries to starve herself to death but Adage slides into her DMS to confess how he murdered a terminally ill patient of his to get sent down to the Depths so he could find his dad. Oh and he loves her – wow thanks for telling me that after that bombshell! He wants to save Cyrus. But he also still wants daddy to accept him so he goes along with the charade of waking up Priscilla until he realizes Glissade never loved him. So he lights Priscilla on fire and Glissade tries to save her but he goes up in flames. Flickering, Vanishing End: They escape the HOUNDS headquarters but the father of one of Adage’s patients shanks him. Adage accidentally gave her the wrong medicine and killed his daughter. A HOUNDS soldier sees what’s happening and kills the father. He takes Cyrus and him to Glissade to treat their wounds and Glissade somehow lived through the fire. Great. He kills Cyrus. Sacrificing Myself End: Adage takes Cyrus home and is like sorry I treated you like shit but I hope you’ll still live with me and it’s fine if you love another dude. Jesus take the wheel! Saschen comes over to arrest him as a suspect in Glissade’s death but Adage is like I’m your man. Saschen is about to execute him publicly when Ines is like yo we need a doctor in this place so they “hire” Adage, who requests they also hire his assistant. For an entire year, they work together until Cyrus is like you were a POS to me but I still like you. Adage is like THANK JEBUS I can bang you now let’s get married.
Daddy Sir Ines Heinrich Heine: vice commander of the HOUNDS with a mild case of resting bitch face (눈‸눈). He’s 11 years her senior but she’s 18 and none of it felt like Onision grooming underage girls. Unbeknownst to the world, he desires to become a refined gentleman – fedora not included. Sadly, Ines’ hair cut in his sprites looks awful from the front but from the side he’s a snack. After she discovers Rielith and Merlot’s remains, Adage tells her to make their home hers now. She finds a man searching the house. He tries to shank her with a knife but she easily restrains him. Sir Ines hears a commotion and walks into the house all will this lady never stop getting into trouble?! The man insists Cyrus tried to kill him but his soldiers arrest him. Ines says justice will be served so it’s alright to cry. Cyrus is like ain’t nobody got no time for dat because she has to find her parents’ murderer. Ines slips up by admitting that it’s difficult to return to the Heights and then is like I’ll be back tomorrow. And tomorrow he arrives, bright and early. The man they arrested is named Amir and he left Rielith without telling her he was going out to find work in the Depths. Needless to say he should’ve communicated this to her because she thought he dumped her and was like great now what? Cyrus thanks Ines for the closure and insists on returning the favor so he asks her to make him more cultivated lol. As a police officer he never scored well on exams because his family were dairy farmers and he was rarely able to attend school. He has her explain her family to him to get an idea of how the nobility are like. Before he leaves, she curtsies to him and he’s all I am reminded of my plebeian status pfft.
Realizing Ines’ money may not last forever, she goes job hunting and passes Ines in the street. He’s on his way to see her for lessons and together they return to her home. He falls asleep during it because he was up all night on duty, and mumbles a name – Theia. She lets him sleep and he apologizes for wasting her time. Then he sees the mountain of cooking ware strewn about the place. He shows her how to make omelets. When they finish cooking, they try each other’s food and Ines panics because she gives him her own spoon to use and it’s like an indirect kiss lol. They talk about how she would’ve become the youngest person ever to become a Rank Two police officer had she not been framed for murder and how they may have met under different circumstances. Adage comes over to deliver soil on Ines’ behalf to Cyrus for her to grow tomatoes. He asks if she’s involved with Ines and explains how in his black market Harlequin novels, soldiers often fell in love with prisoners Cyrus has a breakdown because love is outlawed until marriage and she signed up for a Christian Server. When Ines comes over she’s like OH NO because he notices she’s acting really strange. She learns that you can return to the Heights if Saschen writes you a recommendation letter to have the Heights re-investigate your case. If it goes well, you can become a citizen once more. Sometime later, she goes out to the market for ingredients. Cyrus hopes she can cook something Ines will love, but on the way home she witnesses him murder a thief. Adage tells her that just because Ines seems nice, he’s still a HOUNDS officer. That night, Saschen tells Ines he’ll be going to the Heights in two days. Ines thanks Cyrus for everything and gives her all of his money. He tells her to find employment while she has time. But Cyrus wants to go with him because she’ll never convince Saschen to ask the Heights to re-investigate her case. While he can bring a partner with him, currently there are no women employed in the HOUNDS so it would raise suspicions. So Cyrus chops her hair off and says she’ll do whatever it takes. On the way to headquarters, Ines debates taking her along. He’s done everything he had to for Sashen to recommend him, so he doesn’t want to screw this up…but he also doesn’t want to toss Cyrus aside. That night, Ines swoops in like the night to tell her that if they caught, they’ll both be executed. His partner committed suicide, but he believes he was actually murdered. He hopes to find out the truth out and no matter how he looks at it, Cyrus’ goals align with his. So he gives her a uniform and tells her to arrive a little earlier than noon at the lift. The Fangs of a HOUND End: If Cyrus doesn’t trust Ines, Saschen arrests him for stealing supplies and orders Fin to kill her. Fin can’t do it so Saschen kills them both. He delivers her bloodied uniform to Ines. He rages at Saschen because he lost his chance to go to the Heights and he wanted to live with Cyrus.
If she trusts Ines, he meets her at the Lift after his discharge ceremony. But the HOUNDS surround them. Saschen says Ines stole supplies and has betrayed him so he’s revoking his rights to go up to the Heights but Cyrus challenges him to a duel. Saschen remembers his time in the HOUNDS when they weren’t corrupt. His leader was a woman named Theia who often trained him and it’s implied he was in love with her. They were running out of rations so Theia entrusted him with finding a solution. Saschen set up negotiations with a ruling family in the Depths, the Verraters. They asked to speak directly to his leader instead. Theia took Ines and Sashen with her to discuss trade negotiations. But the Verrater tried to kill them. Theia pushed Sashen out of the way of a collapsing building and was crushed. Sashen and Ines managed to dig her out but a pipe had pierced her stomach. She begged them to remove it because the Verraters would do worse to her. Saschen did as she asked and raced to the infirmary with her in his arms while Ines fought off the gang. Theia appointed Sashen leader and died in his arms and Sashen lost his mind. He became a bloodthirsty tyrant, believing he had to assert his dominance to the Depths leaders to prevent future casualties. After Cyrus defeats him, the HOUNDS tell her to kill him because he’s been abusing them. But Sashen slits his own throat. Ines appoints a temporary leader and takes Cyrus to the Heights. Ines figures he should go pray in the church and Saint Yune is like you should always pray to me lol and he bids them good luck on their quests. They attend a political assembly where Cyrus notices her ex-fiance, Fitzgerald, is in attendance. Ines invites him to the church to meet with her. Fitzgerald says he’ll do all he can to prove her innocence and asks her to wait for him to find information. But the dude is late so she goes out with Ines to stroll the streets. She discovers Ines is the police officer who returned her missing pendant to her when she was a loli and she tells him she became a police officer because of his actions that day. Before they go to bed, he’s like I must tell you something urgent! My dude is denser than most shojo heroines so he thanks her for being with him and says they’ll accomplish their goals together! Poor Cyrus is like ლ(ಥ益ಥლ) The next morning, Fitzgerald meets her in the church to share his findings with her. He says he killed her parents because daddy told him to and he’s never going to get caught muwahaha! Cold Blooded End: Fitzgerald stabs Cyrus and says he hates her because women should work in the kitchen and not take over men’s jobs. What a little shit. If you’re on track for a different ending, Cyrus falcon punches Fitzgerald in the face. She’s about to descend upon him like a demon when the guards come to arrest her, as he had planned. But my dude is a moron because Saint Yune overheard heard Fitzgerald’s confession of murder.
Ines learns from Cordoa (his own commander oof) that his partner had been digging too deep into the Temple’s affairs and found something he shouldn’t have. So all of the police officers butchered him to cover their asses. Cordoa insists the Heights would be rampant with crime just like in the Depths unless they do as the politicians say. Right as Ines is about to be skewered like a pig, Cyrus jumps in and together they defeat all of the men. They tie them up and go to the Temple but of course things never go smoothly. Cyrus is arrested for infiltrating the Heights illegally. Always Faithful End: Saint Yune reinstates Ines as a police officer. He tells Cyrus he wants to partner her with Ines because he trusts her so much. She isn’t happy to hear that because she loves him but I mean…marriage is a huge win-win since he likes you too lol. For some reason Fin wants to stay in the Depths despite Cyrus asking him to return to the Heights. Like okay, good for you finding a purpose but damn it feels out of character. HOUNDS End: Cyrus is let out of prison after Saint Yune clears her of all charges. Fitzgerald’s dad had been working with Glissade to traffic innocent people into the Depths for his personal Frankenstein project. He apologizes for failing them and Ines says he wants to return to the Depths to help the people. He completely forgets Saint Yune is there and asks Cyrus if she’ll return with him because he doesn’t want to lose sight of his humanity. Yeah surrrre. He’s so relieved she agrees and Saint Yune is like was that a love confession? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Ines is so worried he offended him that he frets about it for the rest of the day until they get into the Lift. But my girl Cyrus is like I can’t do this anymore I love you dumbass, what do you think of me? Ines is like Derp probably? Thank god he mans up and leans in to kiss her. They make out until Cyrus ruins the mood by saying he’s like her dad when he holds her and Ines is like please god no!
Don’t worry, Ines! I’m sure you can be her Daddy in other ways At headquarters, Ines says he’ll be their leader and they’re not going to be tyrants anymore. Fin falls flat on his face to grovel at Cyrus’ feet and all of the soldiers are shooketh because Fin had been killing and torturing other HOUNDS soldiers. But with Cyrus, he’s an obedient puppy. I was so worried Fin would lose his yandere shit when he learned Cyrus was in love with Ines but there is a god after all and he never interfered!
Saint Yune: Have you ever wanted to defile holiness? Then this is the route for you! Yune is the country’s ageless and immortal Hierophant who would rather eat all day and never involve himself in politics ever again. His route is wild, though. Like, “were the writers high?” kind of wild. I also didn’t like how vague the good ending was because it just felt like someone opened a can of BS and stirred that into a pot. So his route was both entertaining and disappointing in a lot of respects. Cyrus is told to get into the Lift to travel down to the Depths. She begs them to give her a fair hearing but the officers can’t do anything for her. She notices one of the men is shaking and figures he must be new, so she steals his sword and shoves him to the ground. Pointing the blade against his neck, she bargains for another chance at a fair trial. The leader agrees and she’s detained once more. Fin comes to tell her he’s been discharged and will be transferred to another place soon. Cyrus feels awful because he didn’t deserve this but she can’t give up now. However, she doesn’t get a re-investigation. Saint Yune himself personally asks her to become his attendant. For some reason, her criminal files were almost destroyed before he got a chance to see them. When he reads through the summary, he’s intrigued. She’s obviously very confused so he tells her in the safety of his room that he wants her to kill him. Talk about a plot twist. Should she fail to do so, he’ll kill her. He has no use for someone who hasn’t murdered before and if she insists she’s innocent, it’s off to the Depths she goes! Cyrus plays along with his perception of her in order to buy herself some time. He takes her to visit a politician for dinner and pretends to choke on his wine as if it had been poisoned. It’s a prank, bruh! As Cyrus continues to attend to him, people demean her everywhere she goes. Fitzgerald’s dad, Evan Warner, in particular, because his ass is dirtier than the human trafficking he’s involved in. One night, Saint Yune asks Cyrus to take his money and go out to buy him some candy. She buys him a piece of every single kind of chocolate available in town. Saint Yune is stunned when she returns; he thought she might try to escape.
He reminisces about his parents who’ve been dead for years. For some reason, she didn’t imagine he had any, being immortal and all. Saint Yune says she’s only here because he wants her to end his life. However, if she can prove her innocence, he’ll allow it. The next day, she takes his breakfast to his room and freaks out because he’s strutting around in his underwear like in an Axe commercial. He teases her and shows off the keyhole in the center of his chest. Lewd. Later that day, Saint Yune receives a bouquet from a man at an assembly. The second he touches it, it wilts. They were poisoned, but nothing can kill him. All of his appointments are cancelled and Saint Yune complains that everyone will pretend to be concerned about him. Someone knocks on his door and they open it to find the man who had given him the flowers begging for forgiveness. Before Cyrus has a chance to react, he whips out a knife and lunges at Saint Yune. The window shatters and the glass cuts him open. Warner chastises Cyrus for being useless and Saint Yune is like she’s not supposed to protect me you cur. Warner says people sometimes attack the Saint but the very world itself loves him and will protect him. Cyrus is like how the hell am I supposed to kill him now?! Saint Yune decides it’s time he pays the Depths a visit. He takes Cyrus with him and he asks her how old she thinks he is. She says sixteen and he’s happy to see she doesn’t see him as a monster but as a human being. People fear his immortality, disguising it as adoration, and he’s sick of it. Sacshen takes them to his base and on the way, Cyrus spies Fin in the crowd. They then head into Liberalitas and a robber targets them. Saint Yune does all he can to rile the guy up and Cyrus rushes to defend him but the second the guy shoots his gun, the world intervenes to protect Saint Yune and the man loses his arm. Yeah I don’t think you can even hope to hurt him before he goes Limit Break on your ass, Cyrus. Eltcreed shows up and takes them to his mansion. Ulrik demands proof that he’s really the Saint. So Saint Yune orders Cyrus to try and kill him, knowing full-well she could die. A Promise Kept End: If she obeys, a sword on display flies off of the wall and lances her through the stomach. If you have another ending, Eltcreed stops her and they talk things out. When Yune was a shota, he was abandoned by his parents and adopted by Keisha Ferrie. His biological son was Arcenclimb, who specialized in mechanics. Together, Yune and Keisha excavated mines to further their research on minerals. Unfortunately, the air inside the mines they worked in was toxic and Keisha died. Yune barely survived but without special medicines, he’d pass away. Arcenclimb found a special quartz called the stone of God, which he intended to sell to afford more treatment for Yune, but Yune wanted to research it while he still lived. And then – I shit you not – the stone speaks to him. It’s name is Sekiei and it claims humanity is using minerals for their own gain but because Yune treats them with care, it will lend him its power and grant him immortality. At a cost. So Arcenclimb helps him make a machine containing Sekiei to replace his heart with. Who the hell wrote this?! In order to end his life, Saint Yune believes he needs the same key to unlock Sekiei.
After dinner, Saint Yune asks to go outside. He hasn’t been to the Depths for a long time because no one would accompany him. With Cyrus though, he feels like he can be free. He apologizes for asking her to risk death to prove his identity to Ulrik, wishing for her to stay by his side until the day she kills him. Uh, thanks? On the way back to the Lift, Saint Yune tells Cyrus to speak to Fin while she can. On the way up to the Heights, he asks if she dated Fin because the poor boy clearly adores her. When she says no, he says she should get around while she’s still young xD Cyrus is shooketh because the holiest man alive is telling her to go be a ho when he was the one who helped outlaw love in the first place. To top off the crazy, Saint Yune tells her to fall in love with him because she’s already killed her parents – why not commit more crimes? He plays it off as a joke and asks Warner to re-open Cyrus’ case. When Cyrus returns to his room that night she finds him collapsed on the floor. My dude awakens and is like YASSS because he felt pain for the first time in 400 years and if he can keep this up, he can YEET himself to the afterlife. Cyrus is understandably disturbed, especially when he tells her that the key to killing himself is his growing feelings for her. How romantic! The dokidokis will destroy him. Punishment End: Cyrus turns him down so he kills her, saying her time is up and he could have fallen for her and then finally died. I mean you chose to kill her…If she agrees to pursue a relationship with him, Saint Yune channels all of his energy into his FEELS to trigger the ultimate death. Sekiei tells him that the price for immortality was to give up human touch and if he tried to love someone he’d die. He’s so happy to learn there’s a way he can perish that it freaks out everyone around him and he constantly tries to romance Cyrus in private. This includes clandestine meetings in the church and failing at being actual hos because if Cyrus touches him, she could go POOF. Conveniently though, she’s able to put her hand on his cheek but I guess the world decided she wasn’t bad news. He tells her how love worked in the past, how people dated and got married and whatnot. But Saint Yune wasn’t interested in that so he’s been a virgin wizard for hundreds of years. Apparently, he actually does love Cyrus which felt so forced but I was able to go along with it because if we have talking stones…well anything goes I suppose. Lingering Scent End: Saint Yune discovers that Cyrus is innocent and that her fiance had murdered her parents. He lets her come with him to confront Fitzgerald in the middle of a meeting and the guy loses his shit. Cyrus knocks the sword out of his hands and Fitzgerald is arrested. Saint Yune slits his wrist in his room, realizing that Sekiei’s powers are weakening. He asks her to stay with him until he dies. On his last day, he asks her to kiss him and then he cries: all he wanted was to die but now he wants to live a life with her. She becomes a politician in honor of his memory with Fin as her attendant.
Let’s Meet Again End: Cyrus leaves his employment and becomes a fencing teacher. Fin returns to the Heights and becomes Saint Yune’s assistant. He reforms the government, uncovering criminals in their ranks, and sets things right. The next time he sees Cyrus, she has died from old age. He mourns her death and prays that somehow, someday, he can die and reunite with her (´。＿。｀) If you’re still on track for the good end, Saint Yune is called to attend a meeting. He tells Cyrus to meet him later for some ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°) Holy Swiggity Swooty but Fitzgerald says her parents’ killer has been found and they need to talk. Needless to say this douchebag was the killer and he stabs Cyrus in the stomach. In the meeting, Warner accuses Saint Yune of falling in love with Cyrus. Saint Yune makes a grand speech about how they placed restrictions on the public for population control in the beginning, but he’s realized that it’s inhumane to force marriages between unwilling participants. Saint Yune is tossed into the Depths for his lewd thinking. As he follows Saschen to HQ, the people hurl stones at him. Because he fell in love with Cyrus, Sekiei’s protection has worn off. This enrages the people because they were taught to believe that the Saint was untouchable. Saschen brings him to Dr. Glissade who performs various horrific experiments on him. Unfortunately for him he still can’t die because Sekiei is still in his chest. But Ulrik sneaks in and busts him out of the lab after Fin kills Glissade. Fin then takes his time killing Saschen by burning them both alive. YOU COULD HAVE ESCAPED! Ulrik takes Yune to his library where Cryus is waiting. It’s not explained how she survived, but I guess they dumped her into the Lift after they realized their Saint wasn’t pure lol. Ulrik gives Yune Arcenclimb’s key. Arcenclimb chose to remain in the Depths during the Flood because his family didn’t want to leave. So he told Yune to go live in the Heights. On the way up, he could hear people screaming as the Great Flood crashed down on them. Yune was traumatized and as the years wore on and he never aged, people looked to him as a God and used his symbol to shape their government. Eltcreed and Ulrik leave the room to give them some privacy and Cyrus unlocks Sekiei and the dialogue wasn’t even trying to be subtle with its innuendo. Now he can live his remaining years as a mortal, but it may not be for very long. He decides to open a humble toy shop and asks Cyrus to stay with him, before kissing her on the cheek. Yep, we get no actual kiss CG. Wtf. The Ending We All Wished For End: is a lie of a title because poor Yune dies in Dr. Glissade’s torture-lab.
Grand Ending: is one huge spoiler for every route so if you’ve yet to play one of the character’s stories, stay away. Cyrus gets really lucky and catches Fitzgerald in her house with a knife. She doesn’t know why he’s here but she doesn’t need to know – she tackles him and arrests his ass. He sits in prison, awaiting his sentence, while his father goes to speak to her. He asks Cyrus to remove the charges from his son because he’s her fiance, going so far as to bribe her. Cyrus refuses him and Warner whips out a gun. Like father like son, Warner is a moron because he chose to bring Cyrus into Saint Yune’s church to try and manipulate her. So as he’s trying to kill her, Saint Yune waltzes in and says he’s heard everything and the time of reckoning is nigh. As they wait for their trial, Saint Yune has Cyrus travel to the Depths on his behalf as his emissary. There, she meets with the various love interests and convinces them all to travel up to the Heights to talk about reforming the Temple. Things don’t go too smoothly though. Upon returning to the Heights, Cordoa attempts to arrest them all on Warner’s orders. The police have detained Saint Yune and are attempting to usurp his rule. Eventually they all fight their way through to Saint Yune together with Fin, and there they successfully talk politics. The Temple is completely dissolved, built anew with people from both the Depths and the Heights as politicians. Class and rank do not matter here, only loyalty and honesty. The restrictions on love are removed as well. Cyrus asks Fin about all of the proposals he’s received and whether any of them have caught his eye. None of them have. As for Cyrus, she’s received one proposal. It wasn’t signed which is a miracle for Fin because he apparently got a little too carried away in his ardor for her and wrote her an embarrassingly white-knight confession. She doesn’t know what love is but now that it’s not illegal she’s fine with accepting it whenever it comes her way. And I sincerely hope she fell in love with Fin in this route because it’s a crime he didn’t get a route goddamn.
Fin Deserved Better
It’s been a long time since I bought this game – too long, in fact. My computer couldn’t run this because I was (and still am) a broke student who just needed to be able to complete my assignments. So when it finally shut down for good, I was lucky I had gone ahead and built a PC before its demise. If you played Ozmafia! and didn’t enjoy it, fear not. Though the two games share the same writer, Steam Prison is nothing like it. The writing is much better, the characters are interesting, the world is bleak but fascinating, the heroine isn’t awful and there is no NTR! Had I not known who the writer was, I never would have thought it was in any way related to Ozmafia! This is the Ashen Hawk of the Psychedelica series: it fixes its mistakes and delivers a much better product. And I’m really glad to see how far the writer has come. However, there are content warnings that might deter some players. It also has its own flaws and some disappointing routes but I enjoyed it far more than I’d expected.
Cyrus Tistella is well-meaning and ambitious, and she excels in swordsmanship. However, she suffers from a lack of knowledge that her own government has not only withheld from her, but has downright banned her from learning. Namely, romance and intimacy. Even though she’s engaged to someone, she doesn’t know what exactly that entails. In fact she’d rather not marry at all considering she will have to throw away her career to have a family. Unfortunately, the game does like to highlight this lack of knowledge in some routes more than others, leading to either uncomfortable scenes (Eltcreed constantly creeping on her or Adage treating her like a child due to their age gap and naivety) or funny ones (Ulrik and her both struggling to understand their feelings for each other and their awkward approach to romance). Sometimes a character would mention how they thought she might be in love with someone, and that same day she’d start having breakdowns because apparently they were right all along and she never realized it until they said anything. M’kay.
System: While there’s no skip-to-next-choice option, you can return to a previous choice if you mess up. In Ozmafia! the heroine couldn’t make up her mind about a love interest and would ho around. Rather than butcher the game with NTR, Steam Prison presents an alternate ending for each character in the event that Cyrus doesn’t get an ending with the guy on her route. It felt natural, especially considering that her next option was someone who had a connection to the route. For instance, if Cyrus and Eltcreed didn’t get an ending, it would be implied that she and Ulrik would later end up together. It was subtle but effective and I’m so relieved that NTR was booted out of the equation. Aside from that mechanic, this is your standard otome system. If you want to achieve a 100%, you must play every single ending. Bad endings sometimes provide CGs.
Localization: One scene that stood out to me in particular was when Ulrik and Cyrus decided to drop honorifics with each other. When it comes to localization, you’re not simply translating the text. You’re presenting the material to an audience for them to both understand and enjoy. I’ve had many people in the past DM me on twitter regarding things they’ve seen play out in otoge that they don’t understand – like obligatory chocolates, Christmas being a dating event, guys giving girls their school uniform buttons at graduation and so on. But Steam Prison goes beyond that to explain the significance of this scene without beating you over the head. Ulrik and her acknowledge that they’re getting closer to each other and that they’re happy about it, and slowly the first name basis is drawn into the mix. It’s a clever translation and I was thoroughly impressed.
Art: This is one of the strongest points of the game. The colors are rich and vibrant, the character designs full of life and dripping with symbolism.
Music: as really good! Eltcreed’s theme song had a very saucy vibe and the battle theme was energetic and frenetic.
Eltcreepo: is an eccentric man who loves his women as much as he loves his pasta. He can be ruthless, cunning and even revert to a blushing school girl. Sadly, he just felt like a major creeper when he was pursuing Cyrus. I can see the appeal of his character but I just didn’t like him as a love interest. He was leagues more entertaining as her friend and as Ulrik’s guardian.
Ulrik: is my absolute favorite of the cast. He’s rude and snippy and sweets lure him in like moths to a flame. His route was so refreshing and cute and it was the most fun. Watching tsunderes freak out all the time is my drug so I was more than happy to see him bumble about. My man also loves books so of course he’s the best.
Adage: Is a doctor who loves cleaning and has severe daddy issues. I didn’t like how he talked to Cyrus at all. He was so bossy and rude and I like kuuderes!! Adage was insufferable, personally. But hey, he may not be for you.
Ines: Is your average shojo heroine who doesn’t realize their feelings until the worst possible moment and is dumber than a rock. I really enjoyed his route though despite how Cyrus just turned into a lovesick puppy out of nowhere. Dude was really wholesome.
Yune: His whole route is crack. I’m not sure how the writers came up with it but well it’s a thing now. I was really looking forward to it but damn it was kind of disappointing. As a character he’s really interesting, especially considering the dude’s morals aren’t all there. He eventually learns to be a better person though but I wish we’d gotten an actual kiss CG not some half-assed “put his face near hers” cop out. I also did not believe that Cyrus liked him back. So much of his route was just one big WUT. But that’s where fan-fiction comes in I guess.
Fin: Is one of the few yanderes I have ever liked. But he doesn’t have a route…I’m very conflicted. On one hand, the game doesn’t censor all of the shit he has to endure and that was really brave of them, but when it happens so frequently it started to piss me off. I didn’t like the things he did later too, and it opens up a whole discussion on whether someone’s true self is who they are when they are at peace or when they are at their lowest. So yeah, I felt so bad for him and I wanted him to have a route. But the shit that happened to him and what he did to Cyrus? Ooof yeah. It really sucks that he gets a route later in a Vita port because Steam won’t add it to the game (and I’m pretty sure it’s because they just can’t).
Recommended Route Order: Eltcreed > Ulrik > Adage > Ines > Saint Yune > Grand Ending
Enjoyment from most to least: Ulrik >Ines > Saint Yune > Eltcreed > Grand > Adage
Content Warning: There is implied sexual violence in this game. These occur in bad endings (minus one attempted instance in the common route that is quickly halted). Nothing is shown or detailed – if the attack continues the game fades to black, much like in Black Wolves Saga. Abuse, torture and violence are also rampant in bad endings. I found the law against romance in the Heights to be both disturbing and in line with the story’s world. Disturbing because the Heights have strictly banned all knowledge on the act and the consequences are far reaching. She won’t know what is okay and what is not okay in a relationship, not when her parents staunchly believe in upholding the law that prevents them from telling her. Breaking the law can result in being tossed into the Depths. There’s a whole package to unwrap with this and I’d be happy to hear your thoughts if you wish to discuss them 🙂
Overall I enjoyed this game! It has its weaknesses and not all of the routes were great but I had fun with it. It’s a huge step from Ozmafia! and I am still reeling from the fact that the same writer for that NTR kusoge wrote this game. Eltcreed’s route was kind of boring and I wanted to stop playing the game when I was on Adage’s. Fin deserved so much better and I still can’t understand how he wasn’t an option. The game puts so much emphasis on him and even dedicates whole scenes to his perspective – how on earth did he get yeeted off like that? At least he eventually gets a route in the Vita port but goddamn. However, a lot of people have written in-depth summaries for his route and Steam has an entire thread with the CGs on there. I think it’s worth checking this title out if you’re interested. Just keep in mind that there is sexual violence in the bad ends if you’re not a fan and want to steer clear. Steam Prison feels different from a lot of otome games and I think that’s in part due to the strong world-building. Even though some routes disappointed me, I keep thinking about the what-ifs. So I’d say it’s done a good job in reeling me in.
What did you think about Steam Prison? Do you think it’s an improvement from Ozmafia? What caught your interest about the world?
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